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Who influenced Mike Tyson’s Way of Fighting? 

“Muhammad Ali may have inspired Mike Tyson to box but Jack Dempsey influenced him on how to do it.” 

 Cus Damato was Mike Tyson’s mentor and father figure. The guide that lead him out of the chaotic ghetto that was Brownsville. A genius of the sweet science, Cus D’amato fanned the flames as he forged a formidable fighter and most of all, he created the greatest student of the game of boxingMike Tyson is arguably Cus Damato’s greatest student. As he has publicly said how he absorbed everything that Cus Damato taught him. 


Mike Tyson is also known to have said how the like of Muhammad Ali, his greatest hero. Inspired him to become a boxer. Ali was arguably to some the greatest of all time. Because of what he did inside and most importantly outside the ring. And far as his exploits in the ring, Tyson has humbly and with a clear mind explained even when he reigned undisputed that he could not do what Ali did. Take the punishment Ali took and then drown your opponent into deep waters. 

It is also known that Mike Tyson studied every fighter that had come before him, prior and after the establishment of the Queensbury rules. An intellectual and not just a ferocious fighter, he studied the fighters lives and everything about them, like a true scholar. And amongst them is a fighter he not only studied but emulated to the soul. It could be said this fighter forms the basis for Cus D’amato’s Peek-a-boo boxing style, the style Mike Tyson mastered and made his own.  


This fighter is the great Jack Dempsey. A heavy weight champion who like Mike Tyson was known to drop bombs that echoed into the nightmares of his fallen adversaries. A man who like Mike Tyson would bob and weave his way through his opponent’s defences and assault them to a knockout. He would square up with both hands up like in the peek-a-boo. His gazelle punch, a trade mark Mike Tyson would use mixing it up with hooks, or angular uppercuts. As he would twist his body for devastating momentum.  

For example, when an opponent would throw a jab, Mike would step to the side bobbing as he cocked up his punch, coming up with devasting hook. This was something Jack Dempsey did.  It is even said that the reason fighters had move away from their fellow adversary when they were knocked out, to allow for the count down, was because of Jack Dempsey.  

They say his punches were filled with rage, no it was simple deadly intent. If you are on the offensive it’s to destroy the opponent, like a lion on a hunt. It is matter of effectiveness, not simple wild rage. The intent guides the rage, the rest is destruction or victory. Mike was known to hit with deadly intent, destroying with body punches. But his signature bobbing and weaving has Jack Dempsey written all over it. Muhammad Ali may have inspired Mike Tyson to box but Jack Dempsey influenced him on how to do it. 

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